What is a Cache-Buster?

A cache-buster is a piece of code that blocks your web browser from adding files to the “temporary memory folder” on your computer or device every time a page is displayed thus requiring the browser to re-download the files again as if they are seen for the very first time, no matter how many times a page is refreshed.

To provide a little context here and to demonstrate in laymen’s terms how cache-busting works, when you visit Programmatic101.net for the first time, all of the images will download to your your browsers temporary memory folder so the next time you visit Programmatic101.net, the images don’t have to re-download which would take time, causing delays in page loads and the use of more bandwidth.

However, when an advertisement is displayed on a website, the advertisement or the ad code displaying the advertisement needs to have a cache-buster which prevents the browser from storing it in its temporary memory folder so its displayed each time as if its the first time the browser has seen the ad.

The reason for that is because online ads are usually priced and delivered on an ad impression basis so if the ad does not have a cache-buster, every time a page is refreshed, the browser would use the cached ad image from the browser memory folder to display the ad image and not make an ad call to the ad server that’s serving the ad so there will be a discrepancy in impression delivery which will impact revenue; the ad server will show a lot less impressions that were actually delivered by a web page.

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